Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Nash Feeling a little Sensy Today

John Nash was on the defensive today.

First, regarding the rumors about John Lucas. Folks over at the Blazers' front office are vehemently denying that John Lucas was ever interviewed, or even a candidate for the job. The man to report this rumor (and admittedly, the only one to report it) was Jason Quick, who isn't known to make things up. BlazersBlog correspondent Lochi chimes in:

"Funny how they are now in full on denial after the news broke and roughly 100% of the people that heard it thought that it was a stupid choice. I don't want to say that Patterson and Nash have no clue what they doing, but Patterson and Nash have no clue what they are doing."
So make your own conclusion on that one.

The next item that Nash has got his panties in a bunch about is the whole Gerald Green/solo workout fiasco. Green's agent, Andrew Vye, remains insistent that Green only work out for Portland by himself, and not against other players. Nash isn't interested in seeing him work out by himself ... he wants to guage him against Rashad McCants and Martell Webster (arguably the second and third rated shooting guards in the draft). Will Portland call their bluff and not evaluate him or will they relent and work him out individually? A few quotes from the key players:

"I think he is a very high-level offensive player, I would like to be able to feel equally good about his ability to defend." -John Nash

"Everybody who has been paying attention over the last six to eight months knows Gerald can play and has superstar qualities. We have all figured out who can play basketball at this point. A 50-minute workout against middle-to-late first-round picks is not going to tell you anything about whether Gerald Green is going to be a superstar." " -Andrew Vye.

"I find it odd that John told me the only three players that he would use the third pick on were Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Gerald Green -- he told me that. And from a positional standpoint, he needed a two-guard, and all things being equal, he would use the pick on Gerald Green. But it strikes me as odd that none of those three players are coming in to work out for the Blazers." -Andrew Vye

"... it would be foolish of me if I did (that). Because the whole purpose of this process is to determine who the best player at three is. We are bringing in Martell and McCants for consideration at three . . . and in a perfect world, we would have (Green) go against Martell Webster because they are the two best high school players and it would have been a relatively fair test for both." -John Nash

"(Teams) four through 10 don't have any problem with the format I have set, no problem at all. It seems the Blazers are the only ones that have a problem. That being said, Gerald, myself, and Gerald's family -- we are all very much interested in playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Gerald has talked about it a lot, about the makeup of the team and how he would fit in. I want to be clear in that I have an open-door policy with the Blazers, and I really like John and respect him as a GM. I have kept several dates open for revisits, and I will keep one of the dates open if (the Blazers) want to bring him in." -Andrew Vye
I'm inclined to agree with John Nash in this argument, and it's tough to read Vye's quotes without seeing the slimy side of being an agent show through. Clearly he wants the luxury of Green getting drafted by Portland but without the component of having to work out with other players for them. I hope the Blazers stick to their guns and tell Vye that if he wants Green to be considered, Green will have to work out with other players. But who knows? Clearly, Vye feels like Green has nothing to gain by working out against players who, in theory, are rated lower than he is. It's not an uncommon practice for agents to take that positions, but it's more difficult with High School players. Hopefully the two sides will reach some sort of middle ground. It'll be an interesting storyline to watch.

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